Art Along Trails
Murals, sculptures, decorative paving, and memorials can all be ways of enhancing trails with art.
A photo gallery of murals, sculptures, decorative paving, and memorials.
Stuart Macdonald, Trail Consultant, American Trails
August 17, 2018
Art can celebrate history, as sculptures at National Historic Trail sites. Art can also add richness to the historic elements that have been preserved along with trail corridors. Images of former railroads and the urban past have inspired art along rail trails. Some trails wind through industrial areas where murals add interest to walls and bridges. Art can also bring an element of surprise and unexpected elements along the trail route. Art can be a way of involving more of the community in trails, and schools have also taken on an artistic project for a greenway. Here are some selections from the wide variety of artistic installations on trails across America.
A variety of sculptures are sponsored by the Port of San Diego along the bayfront Embarcadero trail
Murals of local history line the Downtown Lakewalk in Duluth, Minnesota, a rails with trail project.
Sculpture on the Mary Carter Greenway along the Platte River, South Suburban Park District, Littleton, Colorado.
Big guitars along the Town Lake Trail in Austin, Texas;
Incised poems and images in concrete trail along Denver’s Platte River Greenway
Artistic shade structures add interesting shadows to park trail in downtown Phoenix, Arizona
Ogden Nature Center’s annual exhibition of artistic birdhouses along its trail system in Ogden, Utah
Murals on freeway piers along trail through San Diego’s Chicano Park
Sandstone slabs make an artistic gateway to a section of Cherry Creek Trail, Denver, Colorado.
Salmon sculpture called “Leaper” by Tom Jay, 2003, along Riverside Park Trail in Mount Vernon, Washington.
Cut steel sculptural fence interprets natural features along Quad Cities RiverWay at Arsenal Island.
Walk-through sculpture on trail in Seattle’s Space Needle Park
Historic sculpture commemorates rower John B. Kelly along Philadephia’s Schuylkill River Greenway
Naval sculptures are part of USS San Diego Memorial along San Diego’s Embarcadero trail
Sculptural gateway arch along Chattanooga’s Tennessee River Park greenway